In automakers' never-ending search for increased market share, one of the hottest trends in recent years has been dreaming up new body styles that attempt to blend the best qualities of two (or more) familiar vehicle types. Part sport sedan and part station wagon, the 5 Series Gran Turismo combines the former's athletic handling with the latter's greater cargo-carrying flexibility to create what can best be described as a sporty four-door luxury hatchback. Its signature feature is a dual-mode hatchback that can be just partially opened (similar to a sedan's trunk lid) or lifted up completely to take on bulkier items.
The Gran Turismo makes some compromises in its search to be the jack-of-all-trades. It's not as sporty as a true sport sedan; prestigious as a full-boat luxury sedan; or as commodious as an SUV. But if you're looking for a vehicle that can give you a unique combination of all these segments, BMW's Gran Turismo is certainly worth a look.
Current BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo
The BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo is offered in two different trim levels differentiated primarily by what's under the hood. The entry-level 535i model is powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine that puts out 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. The top-of-the-line 550i gets a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 that's good for 400 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque. An eight-speed automatic with a manual shift feature is the only transmission offered, but buyers can choose from standard rear-wheel drive or an available all-wheel-drive system BMW calls "xDrive."
The 535i comes with all the features you'd expect to find on a luxury sport sedan, including 18-inch alloy wheels, adaptive xenon headlights, a panoramic sunroof, front and rear parking sensors, rain-sensing wipers, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, Bluetooth and a premium stereo with an auxiliary audio input jack. Besides the gutsy V8 under the hood, the 550i also gets a voice-controlled navigation system with real-time traffic updates and auto-dimming mirrors. The options list for both models is long and includes items like an adaptive suspension, four-wheel active steering and a night-vision camera.
Inside the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo you'll find top-quality materials and adult-size room for both front and rear seat passengers. The backseat in particular is enormous. Folding the rear seatbacks down creates a healthy 60 cubic feet of cargo space that's easily accessed through the large rear hatch. If you don't need quite that much cargo room, the 15-cubic-foot regular cargo hold can either be accessed from the full hatch or the trick half-hatch that opens more like a traditional trunk.
In reviews, we've found the 5 Series Gran Turismo strikes a pretty agreeable balance between handling and ride comfort. Compared to the 7 Series, the ride quality is a bit on the firm side, and the car's extra pounds and taller profile combine to create more body roll than you'd experience in a regular 5 Series. Even so, this addition to the 5 Series lineup offers a combination of sportiness, practicality and luxury that's hard to match.
Used BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo Models
The BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo debuted for the 2010 model year. Other than all-wheel drive not being available for that debut year, the GT has carried on unchanged.
Read the most recent 2013 BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo page.